Hip pain and bursitis
There are many different causes of pain around the hip. Trochanteric bursitis is a common cause of hip pain and also involves inflammation of the bursa at the hip.
What is a bursa?
- A bursa is a normal part of everyone’s anatomy.
- It is a small sac of fluid near bony areas. It’s job is to counteract friction between the bone and the movement muscles over the bone as they contract.
- “Bursitis” is when the bursa becomes irritated and inflamed Bursitis around the hip
- There is a bursa directly over the bony part you can feel at the top of your thigh on the side at your widest point (greater trochanter). This bursa helps to reduce friction between femur (thigh bone) and a long band running down the side of your leg (Illiotibial band or ITB)
- The bursa can be irritated/inflamed as a result a variety of things, such as a compressive blow or a chronic compression (lying on your side on hard ground)
- Likewise chronic friction of the ITB – often seen for example in cyclists from repetitive flexion and extension in the legs
- Sometimes they also can become inflamed for no obvious mechanical reason
- Middle aged and older people are more likely to suffer from bursitis.
What are the symptoms?
- Hip pain or aching over the hip mostly at the side – can become acutely painful
- Sometimes the pain can radiate into the outer thigh or groin
- direct pressure (ie lying on that side) and going up stairs (flexion and ITB rub) can aggravate
- Swelling can happen in severe cases.
What to do If you have Hip pain and bursitis
- See your Osteopath or Physiotherapist to make sure that you have your pain properly examined and diagnosed to ensure this is the cause of your pain
- Take measures to reduce inflammation with use of lightly applied ice, and antiinflammation medications – these should only be taken under direction and supervision of a health care professional.
- Your Physiotherapist or Osteopath will probably apply treatment around (but not directly on) the area to make sure that muscles around the bursa are not too tight and causing further problems
- Your Osteopath or Physiotherapist will help you identify the cause of your episode of bursitis and give you advice or exercises and stretches that will help to reduce your pain and reduce reoccurrence.
What not to do if you have Hip pain and bursitis
- Do not irritate the bursa further with any direct pressure or massage
- Do not self prescribe exercises or stretches and incorrect exercises or poor technique will only make your problem worse
- Don’t put heat on the area